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Welcome to my blog!

If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years in Malaysia before settling down in Kyoto, Japan. Exploring Japan full time has been a long time dream of mine, so let's explore it together!
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Kobe | Mount Rokko

This is the last post of my KOBE tour series which I’ve split into 3 blogposts including this for easier referencing so it won’t be too long and draggy. You may view the other entries here
Actually you can cover all these areas in Kobe within 2 days, more than what most people expect out of this city that’s famously known for its beef. For those with diet restrictions due to religion or person preference wouldn’t be able to enjoy Kobe beef, so why not enjoy the other exciting activities that this city has to offer. Mount Rokko is located roughly about 10-15mins away from the city and there are buses / trains that makes the location easily accessible to tourists. Bus schedule departing from Sannomiya station can be found here

Upon reaching the Mount Rokko cable car station there is a Rokko Sanjo bus that goes around the area taking you to various stops like Rokko International Musical Box Museum, Rokko Alphine Botanical Garden, Rokkosan Country House, Rokko Snow Park (only during winter), Rokko Shidare Observatory and Rokko Garden Terrance (for food & souvenir shopping). Arima Onsen is just a ropeway ride away at this point once you are at the mountain top. You can plan to either just stop for a hot soak at their Gin & Kin onsen or stay at the Ryokan for the night.

Rokko International Musical Box Museum

Filled with all kinds of musical boxes from different countries, amazing craftsmanship can be found in every piece, visitors can also join the live size musical box concert (schedule based, every half an hour) and also bring home your very own assembled Musical box with their assembling class, prices starts from 1,600 Yen.

Musical concert

I found the musical assembling classes really interesting because we can select our own music, they have a large selection of genres to choose from whether you like Disney, One Ok Rock, etc. Yes Jrock musical box sounds pretty cool right? I went to the classic Disney one, the basic cost of 1,600yen excludes decorative accessories which you can pay additional for each decor piece selected, prices vary depending on décor size.

Great place to bring children ages 6 and above as you can help them assemble it together, it only takes about 20mins per session. Estimated time spent in this museum was roughly about an hour including the concert and tour. However, I didn’t get to dine in the café this time but it looks so instagrammable, with all those vintage English furnishings.

Rokko Snow Park

Only available during winter (December to Feb) this snow park is a winter wonderland for both adults and children whether advanced or beginner level as it has a few types of slopes available for skiing and sledding activities. Equipment can be rented within the park, that’s where I got my sledge from and it was a fun experience because first of all I’ve only walked in ankle deep snow but never really got to do any snow related activities except throwing snowballs, wonder if that’s counted lol.

The next time I come here again I would most definitely try to ski because it looks so fun seeing the adults do that while I was already screaming on the bunny slope lol. Could imagine myself rolling down instead of gracefully skiing, and who says you can only do these activities in Hokkaido? I don’t have to go so far just to Ski this coming winter!

Rokko Shidare Observatory

A modern abstracted dome built on top of the hill overlooking Kobe city designed by the famous architect, Hiroshi SANBUCHI. Available for viewing both day and night time depending on the weather forecast. For night view, the dome illuminates expressing colors of the four seasons on Mount Rokko, more information can be found here.

It’s a short hike up here and it can get rather chilly since the winds are strong during winter, inside the dome will remind you of a fort in Game of Thrones, there’s only one viewing window from the inside which allows you to capture a portrait like frame of the Kobe city landscape.

Could stare at this all day because it's so beautiful!

Rokko View Palace
Not only offers diners with a spectacular mountainside view which reaches as far as the borders of Osaka city, they have halal menu available for Muslim customers featuring seasonal dishes. Food here is delicious, i had a nabe because it was too cold for me and I needed some hot soup to warm myself up. I wasn’t really expecting snow as it was towards the end of January and it was “supposedly” getting warmer in most parts of Japan but guess it’s always slower for mountain areas.

Slowly enjoy your meal while absorbing in the spectacular view

In the city itself the cool weather is quite pleasant, it’s colder during the night because of the sea breeze but 15 mins up the mountain that’s when you’ll start feeling as if winter has never left lol. Totally different atmosphere within a short travel distance.

The nabe set i had, best meal for a cold weather!

Prayer rooms can also be found at most areas in Mount Rokko including the snow park, so Muslim visitors can visit Kobe city at ease. It’s a great initiative by the Kobe city to make it a muslim friendly destination as Japan is receiving more and more foreign visitors yearly thanks to the 2020 Olympics approaching.

Kobe Sanda Premium Outlet

If you are a keen branded products kind of shopper after all the nature and cultural stuff, I can recommend for you guys to visit Kobe Sanda Premium Outlets as they have tons of international and local fashion brands there at lower than usual market prices. I was kinda shocked to find some clothes as low as 800Yen, which is unusual because on average most women’s clothes in Japan prices around 3500yen above per piece and im not talking about Uniqlo or GU kind of brand as those can get really cheap during off season sale lol. My damage for tons of clothes was only 5000 yen something I won’t be able to get at usual stores. Worth the 50mins bus ride from Sannomiya station (costs 660yen one way) after taking the cable car down from Mount Rokko earlier. There is nothing much to do here except shop, so if you are looking for bargain fashion buys then I would highly advise for you to save your shopping for this place. It reminds me of KL’s Mitsui Outlet park because both are located in the middle of nowhere and has tons of bargain deals on branded items lol.

Ending the day with a homely dinner session at a halal and family friendly cafe called Sharing Cafe Kobe Nagomi run by a warm and welcoming family who has 3 children who are also the models of their current flyers.
Reservation is needed to dine here as space is limited, the most they can accommodate each dinner session are 2-3 small groups. Everything served in the menu are halal, and i was actually quite surprised to find familiar sauces from Malaysia served here lol.

Contact them via email or phone call for reservations: info@halalnagomi.com | 06-6606-9278

Cozy traditional setting

Useful information flyers for Muslim customers

Muslims can enjoy halal Kobe beef meals here!
Simple yet delicious meal with halal sauces to compliment the meats.

Thank you for the warm hospitality!

Would like to graciously thank Kobe city team for the wonderful and informative tour, without you guys as our tour guide I seriously wouldn’t have even thought of visiting these places at all! Kobe is indeed a beautiful city which i won't mind coming back again if i need a break from Kyoto sights, hope you guys enjoyed this virtual tour on Kobe city, do bookmark this page for your future trips to Japan if you are landing in Osaka (Kobe is better than Osaka in my opinion lol) and don't forget to subscribe to my blog for more travel stories in Japan as i'll be updating more frequently now since i've just moved to Japan. So many things to share, how i wish i had duplicates of myself to do all tasks at the same time!

Bonus photo of me trying my luck throwing these plaster coins into the loop sticking out at the distance, not easy because your aim has to be on point and the winds in your favor haha!
In Amanohashidate, Kyoto they had a similar activity too, it's meant to bring good luck.

 You can buy these chips at the deck itself.

Not working!!! My aims are terrible!

I've gotten quite alot of feedbacks to share about my findings in Kyoto, so i'll probably make a dedicated section in my blog for that, should start tagging them under prefecture names for easier searching in the future lol. Thank you as always for the kind messages via Instagram DM and emails, i'll definitely take the time to read through them one by one :)



  1. The only place that caught my attention here is the Rokko snow park. hehe. I really wanna try skiing and sledding activities.

  2. Arisa, you travel a lot. I am so jealous. I am just stuck in the office all the time, doing works. I wanna go travel as well.

  3. wow.. my favorite place. I am dreaming now to Japan.
    Time to save up for my next trip

  4. Japan is one of the best place to visit.. i wish one day day i will travel to japan with my family.. you are sooo lucky!

  5. such a pleasent blog to read.. i did enjoy it and i can feel u how its like enjoy your vacation there..teh musical box is such a priceless souvenir right hahaha...those kobe beef does makes me mouth watering...

  6. never been there! oh gosh u make me feel so excited to travel there. hopefully one day i can visit there. pray for me!

  7. I like that cute musical box. I have one when I was a kid. Hehe. Best you can travel to Kobe in winter. The place is covered by snow. Awesome!.

  8. All the place in the photo caught my attention, i wish i could be there and visit there..wish me luck..i want to experience those activities...

  9. nice picture..cantiknyaaa..i dont when i can come here..hehee..just look friend picture..nice place..lagi suka bila tengok salji tu..

  10. the view is so nice :-) wah they also got premium outlet..never been here, but after i read your blogpost, i should put this place as one of dream place that i'm looking forward (in my bucketlist)

  11. I wish i will been there one day. The view soooo nicee and beauty. Love it! And the best part is snowwww...pray for me too!

  12. masih belum berkesempatan nak travel ke sini. hope one day dapatlah datang dengan kawan-kawan. i wish

  13. Wow there are a lot of places can be visit in Kobe and they are very beautiful indeed. I would love to go there someday using ur itinerary. Thanks for sharing ur Kobe trip with us

  14. Wow... Japan is very nice place. I hope, someday, i can be visit in Kobe with my big family.

    Japan ada di bucket list my traveling 2018. Aamiin..

  15. I have fallen more and more in love with Japan. Travel to Kyoto last year (city centre) and will be travelling again to Osaka this September. I hope to travel to all those places you mentioned as I want to feel the real Japan.

    Hello Arisa. Missing you here in Malaysia.

  16. Interesting trip you have there. so fat yet plan to go but your reviews could be my great guide for my planning.

  17. I have been there, to Kyoto. Unfortumately, we didn't visit Mount Roko. I think I should put this on my list if I visit Kyoto/Kobe next time

  18. Yes. I always use pocket wifi where ever i travel, its so convenient, fast and safe instead of looking for public wifi.


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